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All the Captain Marvel facts you need before seeing the movie

There are a lot of reasons to be psyched for the Marvel movies being released in 2019. Infinity War's other half, Endgame, will doubtless be a hit out of the park as everyone flocks to the theaters to see how the Thanos saga reaches its conclusion. That will be followed up by the second installment in the Tom Holland-led Spider-Man franchise, which will also officially usher us into Phase 4 of the MCU's master plan.

But before those movies reach theaters, there's one more Marvel blockbuster poised to conquer the box office, introducing Marvel's first female-led franchise and simultaneously helping to set the stage for Avengers: Endgame. We're talking, of course, about Captain Marvel. The highly anticipated film is going to be an interesting, over-powered shift from many of the solo MCU films that we've seen in the past. For a few of the basic facts you're going to want to keep in mind as you settle in with your popcorn, take a look at everything you need to know before seeing Captain Marvel.

Carol Danvers

Captain Marvel will be focused on the character of Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) as she takes on the mantle of Captain Marvel and transforms from a human into an alien-hybrid superhero. However, as any diehard comic book fan will tell you, Miss Danvers is hardly the first hero to bear the Captain Marvel title. In fact, historically speaking, Danvers has only been Captain Marvel for less than a decade; before that, she spent many years as the hero Ms. Marvel.

But even the Ms. Marvel persona wasn't the first time Danvers graced Marvel's books. She was actually introduced in 1968, in Marvel Super-Heroes #13. At that point, she was a retired Air Force pilot that served as a support role for the character Mar-Vell, who had been created a year before and was then occupying the role of Captain Marvel. Cutting out decades of complicated backstory, the MCU seems to have decided to streamline Danvers' origin story — as they've done more than once for the screen versions of their classic characters in the past.

As an interesting side note, the title Captain Marvel wasn't even coined by Marvel comics in the first place. The moniker was originally dreamed up by C.C. Beck of Fawcett Comics, with the character he created eventually being bought by D.C. Comics. That hero is more commonly known today as Shazam.

The Kree

One of the central forces in Captain Marvel is a group that entered the Marvel Universe way back in 1967 in Fantastic Four No. 65. We're talking about the Kree, a race of aliens that generally take the form of blue-skinned and purple-eyed beings with otherwise typical human features. Technologically advanced, they operate a galactic empire that has had its fair share of run-ins with Marvel favorites like the Nova Corps and the Nine Realms of Asgard. They aren't necessarily bad guys, but they tend to have a bit of a mixed reputation, as they can be militaristic and are infamous for their constant squabbles around the galaxy.

While Captain Marvel will involve the Kree on multiple levels — according to the comics, even Danvers herself is a human/Kree hybrid due to an accident that altered her DNA — the movie actually won't be their first foray into the MCU. The Ravager Yondu Udonta, for example, revealed that he was sold to the Kree in his youth. Ronan the Accuser was also a rogue Kree general that ignored the treaty between his people and Nova Corps and attacked Xandar with the help of Thanos. The blue-skinned aliens have also made a number of appearances on the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. series as well. While they've been on the edge of events thus far, Captain Marvel is finally going to give them a chance to fully enter the spotlight.

The Skrulls

While the Kree have a bit of a mixed history, their longtime enemies, the extraterrestrial race known as the Skrulls, are far less complicated, at least as far as humans are concerned. Their appearances in the comics usually correlate with Earth invasions or their more distant — and ancient — quarrels with the Kree. The Skrulls first appeared in the comics in Fantastic Four #2 in 1962, making them slightly more well-established than Danvers or the Kree. The Skrulls have been both rumored and anticipated throughout the MCU for years, and their arrival is finally taking place with Captain Marvel, where they'll factor into the story opposite the Kree and the human race.

The most important thing you're going to want to remember about the Skrulls is that they're shapeshifters, able to take on whatever appearance they need to in order to infiltrate and destroy empires, organizations, and even cadres of superheroes, causing dissension from the inside out. This, of course, means they could already be involved in more than one MCU movie, infiltrating high positions and simply biding their time for the perfect moment to strike.

Binary

Another element of Carol Danvers' Captain Marvel comic book history is her ability to take on her Binary form, which first appeared in X-Men #164. Danvers' ability to transform into the super-powered Binary emerged when another alien race, known as the Brood, abducted and experimented on her, further augmenting her already significantly altered DNA. As Binary, Danvers could transform into an energy-manipulating state that allowed her to lift over 100 tons and fly at nearly the speed of light. It also turned her skin red and gave her flaming hair, which is pretty cool.

This all took place shortly after Danvers had had her memories stolen by the mutant Rogue and then restored by Professor Charles Xavier, albeit without any emotional attachments. Lacking a lifetime of human connections and equipped with the new evolution in her power, Danvers left Earth behind for other adventures in space.

All of these storyline beats could play parts in the MCU, as it appears from trailers and spoilers that Danvers will both suffer from memory loss and show up in all of her Binary glory. She'll also need an excuse to be somewhere else when the events of Infinity War take place, which could easily be answered by a self-exile into the far reaches of the galaxy.

Starforce

In the third Captain Marvel trailer, we get a quick glimpse of Carol suited up and leading a group of aliens, all dressed in the same uniform, walking in slow-mo through an other-worldly setting. It doesn't last long, but the view is most likely our first look at Starforce, a team of warriors that fight for the Kree. The group was introduced in the comics in Avengers #346 in 1992.

While the original comic team has had a few different members, the lineup for Captain Marvel seems to consist of Minn-Erva, Korath the Pursuer, Att-Lass, Bron-Char, and Jude Law's character, who is either Mar-Vell or Yon-Rogg (or possibly even both of them together). We've already met one of the members of the MCU's Starforce — Korath, who appeared as one of Ronan the Accuser's lackeys in Guardians of the Galaxy. Interestingly, Ronan was also one of the original Starforce members in the comics, which begs the question: will he be on the team as well, or will he already be preparing for his mad crusade to destroy Xandar?

Time travel?

Spoiler alert! In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Samuel L. Jackson, who will be reprising his role as Nick Fury in Captain Marvel, was asked if he thought Danvers was worthy of being the first female MCU character to get her own movie. His response was, in essence, a breakdown of all of her incredible powers.

It was a clever answer, both illuminating and deflective at the same time — that is, until the last sentence, when Jackson slipped in that she's "one of the few people in the Marvel universe that can time travel, so..." Hold the phone. She can what? Time travel has been heavily rumored as one of the main ways that the events of Infinity War could be undone, but the context has usually suggested that Ant-Man would be using the Quantum Realm or Doctor Strange would be using the Time Stone. Needless to say, the leak caused an immediate ripple effect of rumors and theories. The question that remains is how, exactly, Danvers' mysterious time-traveling abilities will be depicted in the film.

The Setting

Speaking of time, another major factor with Captain Marvel is going to be timing. Most Marvel Movies take place in or around the year that they're made, although there are occasional exceptions, like Captain America: The First Avenger. Captain Marvel will be another of those exceptions, although in this case, the time jump won't be quite so far. The movie will be set in the '90s where they'll be able to take their time as they develop Danvers' character into Captain Marvel and tuck her somewhere in a galaxy far far away before the events of Iron Man usher in the MCU superhero age with Danvers notably missing for the first decade.

But why the '90s? Well, in a certain sense it simply gives the MCU's first female lead her own stomping ground to establish herself. But it also allows her to be present in an era that we already know features the likes of Peggy Carter, Nick Fury, and Phil Coulson, all of whom participated in S.H.I.E.L.D. during its heyday. Howard Stark could also be present before he's assassinated — which, according to some theories, could also be an event that could tie the film into the bigger picture.

The fast and the Fury-ous

Speaking of Nick Fury, the ex-director of S.H.I.E.L.D. is clearly going to play an important role in Carol Danvers' evolution into Captain Marvel. This should come as no surprise, as Fury has been doing this for years with many of the other Avengers. Calm, collected, and tough as nails, the man whose secrets have secrets will be showing up in a bit of a different guise this time.

Fury most likely won't be the man behind the scenes, orchestrating everything from the shadows quite yet. As the third trailer opens we hear Danvers address him as "Agent Fury," implying that he's still on his way up the ranks. It's likely, therefore, that the movie will double not only as an origin story for Carol Danvers but, in a secondary capacity, one for Nick Fury as well. From his rise through the ranks of S.H.I.E.L.D. to why on Earth his gut instinct after the finger snap would be to page Captain Marvel, there are a lot of Fury-based questions that could find their answers in this one.

Oh, and he's also shown in the trailer with both eyes, so there's a good chance we'll also see something regarding the origin of that eyepatch.

Tying it in with Endgame

Avengers: Infinity War was a non-stop thrill ride, with the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy dashing all over the cosmos trying to head off Thanos' mad plot to wipe out half the life in the universe. One of the most exciting parts of the film wasn't actually during the movie itself — it came in the end credits scene that followed Nick Fury and Maria Hill as they encountered the finger snap — and both fell victim to it. 

Once Fury realized what was happening, his first move was to race to the back of his vehicle, whip out a strange little device, and push a button just in the (ahem) nick of time. This clever little Easter egg left stunned non-comics readers in the audience wondering how that little pager could stop Thanos' devastation. Of course, the answer to that question will almost certainly be found in Captain Marvel, as the movie comes out a short month and a half before Endgame, and is sure to connect several dots before the epic conclusion to Phase 3 of the MCU hits the theaters in April.

Intergalactic themes are normal now

The MCU is growing bigger at every turn. The comics side of things has been an intergalactic multiverse for decades now, but up until relatively recently, the MCU had generally remained within the same timeline and universe for the most part.

It began to grow in small ways through the Thor franchise, which took Marvel audiences into space with its start on Asgard. But the MCU has pushed the bounds far beyond that at this point. We've seen space travel with the Guardians of the Galaxy, time travel thanks to Doctor Strange, alien invasions in Avengers, and even the Quantum Realm, where all concepts of time and space become irrelevant. Infinity War, in many ways, brought it all together, but the MCU is far from finished, with Captain Marvel poised to carry the galactic themes to a whole new level. Buckle up, true believers. We're in for a heck of a ride.

Goose/Chewie

Finally, there's Goose. If you've been following the trailers, you've probably noticed the cat, named Goose, that Fury is seen fawning over. As it turns out, though, the fuzzy little guy isn't just tossed into a scene for a bit of comic relief between the future head of S.H.I.E.L.D. and a random feline. It also happens to be Carol Danvers' pet... and it's an alien. 

Goose is a Flerken, an alien species that typically resembles terrestrial cats, with a couple of noticeable exceptions. For example, they have a huge array of tentacles that come out of their mouths, and they lay eggs at the furious rate of over a hundred at a time. They also possess human-level intellect as well as "pocket realities" of space and time within their bodies — so yeah, not your typical house cat. In the comics, Danvers' pet was named Chewie, but the name has apparently been changed from one wingman to another for the MCU, adding yet another nod to some hardcore nostalgia in the process.